"You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up."

Deuteronomy 6:5-7

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The Newest Family Member

Ever since the fall, the men in my house, with sad longing faces, have been asking this question, “when will we get another dog?”. 

We knew we had to wait for the baby to come and get a little older. New babies and new puppies are not a good idea.

I suggested we wait until after our homeschool co-op was finished. With that added work load, a puppy would not be well taken care of.

Two weeks after the end of our co-op, Ian found a family whose Labrador had a liter of puppies. “Let’s go see them. I mean, let’s just go look at them.” Now everyone knows you don’t go and just look at puppies. So, we came home with a puppy of our own.


Ian wasn’t the only one happy! This is our 6 week old chocolate lab coming home with us.



We still haven’t officially named her. The boys are calling her Brownie, I like Gracie ( in keeping with our previous dog’s name Glory) and Ian likes Lady. We’ll have to decide soon.

She is super sweet. Loves to cuddle. Has the prettiest eyes. Hates to be alone. Loves her tug of war toy.

Needless to say, all the boys in my house are in puppy heaven.  And even though I’m not a fan of puppy training, housebreaking, crate training, and endless chewing up things, I must say, I’m having fun with her too. How could you resist this face?


Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Outlet Sale

You're invited to my Thirty-One Outlet Sale! Visit my website to get discontinued prints and bags for 50%-80% off! This is a while supplies last sales so once it's gone, it's gone. Sorry but Outlet items cannot be personalized. If you live nearby, I can get them personalized for you here.
Happy Shopping!

Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men Col. 3:23

As it turns out, chores are an interesting subject. I’ve had lots of interest on how chores look for us so I thought I would share a little more about how we tackle that.
Let me start by saying my primary objective in teaching and training my boys at home is to teach them to be disciples of Christ, to daily share the Gospel with them (as I need it daily as well) and to instill a love and consideration for others. It is a never ending conversation about the privilege we have to own and care for a home and beautiful things. This conversation usually highlights that all our things belong to God and we want to use them for His glory. We talk about how doing such a large job as taking care of your home is better when we work together. So each one of us has jobs we can do.
A major part of this conversation, and my parenting in general, is that we have a need. Our greatest need is for Jesus. We need salvation first and foremost, and that is true for all of us, everyday. I try to use opportunities to teach my children that this truth starts with me. Mommy needs Jesus, Mommy needs help. So I continue with my confession.
Prepared to be shocked. I am lazy. My heart desires to do nothing sometimes. There are times I would much rather serve myself in laziness than serve my family by doing things such as clean the bottomless pit of laundry. So when we talk about chores, I sometimes start by reminding the boys that I too struggle to work. That I need to ask and pray for help to serve my family and others well. I encourage them with what encourages me, the Word. My favorite chore verse is Colossians 3:23 “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men”. Even doing the dishes can bring God glory. This is what I tell myself as I scour the urine soaked toilet in the boys bathroom.
That being said. I’ve tried several approaches to help the boys work independently to do their designated chores. We’ve made chore charts with stickers, printed picture reminders, and other visuals. None of them worked well for us. Also, there are lots of guides out there that outline age appropriate chores such as this and this is my favorite chore list.
The big boys help with putting away their clean laundry and bringing down the dirty, clearing their places from the table and unloading a clean dishwasher, take out the trash, bring full bags to the compost, care for their bathroom and bedroom, feed and water the cat, unload groceries from the car and all the other basic chores such as picking up toys, dirty clothes, trash and so on. I’m still working on the two year old but needles to say, there are BIGGER issues we’re addressing with him!
Sometimes extra chores are a reward. By extra I mean things like cleaning the windows, cleaning out the car, cleaning the toilets and wiping counters, etc. So they would get an allowance or extra game time from some of these items. We usually employ this method when there’s something they’re really interested in having or doing. This way they learn to work for the things they want.
Sometimes, I use chores as punishment. My good friend, Joelyn, does this well. When we have complaining hearts, bad attitudes, quarreling or the loathsome “I’m bored”, chores come into play. In this case, I employ that raging energy for something useful. So you have nothing better to do than fight, okay, let’s clean the baseboards. Really? You are going to tell me you’re bored? Let me find something for you to do, why don’t you go pull some weeds. There’s nothing you can think of that you’re grateful for? Alright, let’s clean under the sofa and under the cushions. It helps, trust me!
That’s a little peek at our chore life. I’d love to hear how chores work in your house! How do you tackle the task of training your children to care for their home?

Monday, April 16, 2012

Love and Responsibility

Chores are a very normal part of life in the Jorgensen household. We talk to our boys about the importance of being good stewards of the the great things God has given us.  Taking care of our home, cleaning up our messes and being cleanly.  Obviously, Mom cannot and should not do it all. So each member has their own part in helping to keep our house in order.

For instance the dishes. The never ending, always there, endless pile of dirty dishes. Nathan’s job is to unload the dishes and neatly stack them under the cabinet they belong or carefully put them in the cabinets below. One of Jacob’s job is to put away all the dishes above the counters that Nathan cannot reach.

Sometimes, Nathan needs a partner to help him along in his chores. So he’ll ask me if I can help him. And I happily put away a dish or two to let him know he’s not alone. That’s really all he wants. And we chat about the day or what funny story he remembers or some crazy knock-knock joke he made up that day. It’s lovely. I spend a little moment with my sweet boy and its lovely.

Today, after one of these moments together, Nathan finishes and begins to walk out of the kitchen. As he goes, he says “Mom, thanks for the talk. It was fun”. Oh my melting heart. At that moment, Jacob is walking in to finish up. He starts putting a few dishes away and then replies “that boy has a bright future”. Not sure I understand correctly, I ask him to explain what he means. He says “you know, one day Nathan will have his own family, take care of his own home. He’ll be really good at caring for his family.” I smile proudly.

Two striking thoughts in this conversation. #1 wow. That was really cool that Jacob considered a “bright future” caring for and loving your family well. And also that he had noticed something so wonderful in his little brother. That’s not usually his M.O. #2 He hit the nail on the head. Nathan will be an excellent father, husband and leader as he is already such a sweet son, brother and friend. I love these boys. I’m excited about what God is working in their hearts. I’m hopeful for a “bright future” for all of them.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Being 4 Months Old

I promised myself it wouldn’t happen, but it did. I am late writing Evan’s monthly update. I love this little boy so much and enjoy every moment with him. I’m terrified that the busyness of life will cause me to forget something precious. So as the saying goes, better late than never!


In one months time, his sleep schedule has improved. He consistently and predictably naps during the day now. Yay! And it’s been a long time since his nap was in my arms, boo! His cradle cap is mild now and I think we’re stuck with the mohawk Smile. I neglected to mention in last month’s post that he affectionately loves his pacifier and special night-night blanket. I just love having a paci baby again. It’s great to be able to soothe my baby in time of need.

At 4 months old, Evan has discovered two T’s. His toes and toys. He loves to play with his toes and has started reaching for nearby toys. It lights up my day to see this happy boy smile, and he’s doing it a lot more now. He has also found his voice. And even though he is a big guy, it’s a little on the squeaky side. Totally adorable. He is very ticklish and giggles so sweetly.


Children are such a gift from God and every moment I spend with Evan, I am reminded of how great a God we have who can create something so precious and then entrust us to care for him.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

What is Good Science?

We learned this week in our classical classes that good science is the constant search for accurate information.

So the boys and I set out to create a fun science project. And what better way to learn and have fun than by making rock candy?


We started out with empty glass jars and wooden skewers coated in sugar, cut to the length of each jar.


Next, we combined sugar and water at a 3:1 ratio in a saucepan over medium heat until it started bubbling. We I didn’t have the patience to wait for it to boil, and it still worked.  After the mixture cooled, we poured it into the individual jars and added food coloring.


Then came the technical part. We secured our wooden skewers in the sugar syrup with…clothes pins Smile It’s so technical, shirts aren’t required.


Then, we found a sunny spot for our jars and watched and waited.


Day One, not much happening. And I decided to cover them with coffee filters. The dust parts falling on the tops really bothered me. I’m crazy like that.

Day Three, large crystals begin to form.



Day Three, it’s really building up.


Big Finale, day seven.


I’d say this experiment is certainly considered good science!